Bryan Cranston confirmed on Friday what has been rumored since the season four finale: The final season of “Breaking Bad” — a 16-episode super season — will be split into two. According to Bryan Cranston, “We’re splitting it. We’re going to shoot the first eight, then take a four-month production break, then the rest will air next year.” There’s no official return date, though Cranston has previously suggested that “Breaking Bad” will return in July. Eight episodes should take it through August.
What’s unknown is whether the second half of the season will air after the four-month hiatus — which would mean around January — or if AMC will hold it until the subsequent July (boo!). If the 2011/2012 schedule holds, January/February 2103 could potentially mean running the second half of a “Walking Dead” season as a lead-in for “Breaking Bad” in early 2013, which would be a huge boost to Cranston’s series. “The Walking Dead” is cable’s highest rated scripted program.
Cranston will also be directing the premiere episode in the back 8. He also suggested that the series will — as we predicted earlier — essentially replace Gus Fring’s big bad with Walter White, who may transform from anti-hero to full-blown villain.
“We pick up right where we left off,” Cranston says of the fifth-season opener. “We’re cleaning up the pieces from last season’s huge ordeal where Gus Fring was forced to meet his maker. It’s not as easy as Walter thought. And as we’ve discovered over the years, you don’t really know who Walter White is. I’m still discovering who he is and I’m trying to allow myself to be open to him going darker and darker. There’s physical danger to himself and his family, plus there’s the emotional danger due to his anger and hubris. It’s about the evil that men do and where that takes him.”
I’d wish July here faster, but that’d mean rushing ourselves past cable’s second best series, “Game of Thrones,” and that’s something I want to savor. Take it your time, “Breaking Bad.” Get it right.